Here's What You Need To Know Before Using Crystals For Meditation

Most people think of meditation as sitting cross-legged on the ground, cranking Enya and chanting "ohm" over and over again, but the practice comes in a variety of styles (via Mindful). Like meditation, healing crystals have been around for centuries (they come from the Earth after all)! These fossilized minerals are believed to have multiple metaphysical properties and were often used medicinally in ancient times (via Times of India).

The idea is that healing crystals hold different energies due to their chemical makeup. These energy fields come into contact with humans, who vibrate at the same frequency, and thus the crystals can bring about balance (via Time). For example, if you wanted to quiet your mind, you'd look for a grounding stone, like jasper, to connect with your root chakra (via Chakras). If you wanted to stop feeling tired all the time, you'd fix the energetic block with a ruby (via Healthline). 

Whether you agree think crystals have healing properties, are a placebo effect, or science-based, the most beneficial time to utilize a crystal is while meditating, as the practice allows you to open up to possibility. Don't believe us? We'll leave it up to an expert. "When I am in touch with the perspective and sense of openness that my meditation practice has strengthened in me, I very much see the healing we are capable of — in communities, in cultures, in this world," meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg wrote for Mindful. So no matter what you want to address in your life, there's a complementary crystal ready to take on the challenge.

Crystals have different properties and have unique functions

Before choosing a crystal to take with you on your meditation journey, you'll first want to focus on what you need. Tune into your body and take a minute to reflect. Focus your attention inward via breathing, stretching, or repeating a mantra (via Mental Health Daily). Once you've determined what has you feeling off-balance, you can choose a crystal that fits your intention. Crystals come in a variety of textures, luminosities, and colors. Self-proclaimed professional occultist, Aliza Kelly, recommends letting your intuition guide you. "You don't choose the crystal, the crystal chooses you," Kelly noted. 

If you still feel overwhelmed about building your crystal collection from scratch, you can't go wrong with these five basic stones: clear quartz, amethyst, rose quartz, citrine, and black tourmaline. Clear quartz crystals are helpful for increasing positive vibrations and manifesting. Amethyst crystals work by tapping into psychic abilities and clearing negative energy. The abilities of a rose quartz crystal might be obvious by its pink hue: increasing love and harmony. Citrine is the perfect optimism booster to help you realize goals. Finally, black tourmaline works as a handy-dandy pocket-sized protector, purifying any negativity or danger in your path (via Allure). 

You may be doubtful that one tiny rock could hold all these properties, but crystals have been around longer than us and are being commercially used to do much more than balance chakras.

Crystals play a major role in our society

Besides being used in ancient civilizations for medicine, rituals, and magic (via Crystal Age), crystals are also used for much more practical purposes in today's world. According to Nature, the world's first quantum satellite, created by China, has a crystal at its heart. The crystal's purpose is to "produce pairs of entangled photons, whose properties remain entwined however far apart they are separated" — and there could be more satellites to come. According to University of Science and Technology of China physicist Chaoyang Lu, "If the first satellite goes well, China will definitely launch more."

Another item that uses crystals to operate is probably within inches of you – your cell phone (which, by the way, can be bad for your health). Quartz crystals are used in devices like cell phones, watches, and clocks because of their piezoelectric property, meaning they emit an electric charge when pressure is applied to them. Fun fact — quartz also has the ability to reverse this effect. For example, if you applied an electric charge to a crystal, it would begin vibrating (via How Stuff Works). That certainly brings a whole new meaning to vibrating at a high frequency. 

Crystals are all around us. LCD screens literally stand for "liquid crystal displays." If they can be used to create everyday items, like televisions, computers, and beauty products, it's not a far leap to believe that crystals could impact us in meaningful ways through meditation and other practices. 

Don't overpay for your crystal

With multiple celebrities hopping on the new age train, it's easy to believe that crystals aren't for the everyday man. But the preconceived notion that you need to have a disposable income to afford crystals is simply not true. You just need to know what to look for. 

If money is a factor, stick to simpler crystals like quartz, which are always cheap due to their endless natural supply. If you can't find affordable crystals in a store near you, it's perfectly acceptable to search online. However, beware of fakes, like heated, dyed, artificially irradiated, misidentified, or man-made stones (via Love and Light School). Usually small businesses are more reliable for finding authentic, reasonably priced stones. Just be sure to check out reviews before purchasing!

One factor that impacts a crystal's cost is weight. A typical rule is the larger the crystal, the more expensive. But just because you've purchased a smaller stone doesn't mean it will be any less effective. Another factor is wear and tear. While we typically like things to be free of damage, that will cost you. Remember, it's perfectly natural for crystals to have abrasions and scratches. Mining, cleaning, packaging, and transporting crystals will almost always cause some form of damage (via Crystal Vaults). A final checklist for ensuring you don't get scammed is to consider your crystal's rarity, other trade names, and color (via International Gem Society). Good luck and may the crystal force be with you!

Make sure you cleanse your crystals

Because crystals are so amazing at absorbing energy, it also means they'll occasionally need to be cleansed after usage. Healthline recommends using running water or salt water to purify your hard stones, such as quartz or amethysts. To clean more brittle or porous stones, like selenite or malachite, you can bury your stones in a bowl of dry, brown rice. Other methods include sound cleansing, sage, and breath work.

If these tactics seem like too much trouble, you can also use other larger crystals to cleanse your stones. According to Earth Crystals, selenite is excellent at dispelling negative energy and enhancing clarity, focus, and calm. Certified shamanic energy medicine practitioner, Colleen McCann, recommends cleansing unused crystals once a month, while crystals used daily for meditation should be cleansed weekly (via Goop). 

Be aware of the difference between cleansing and charging your crystals. Crystals can be charged through moonlight, sunlight, eclipses, or burying them in the earth, but don't overlook the importance of charging your crystals, either. So whether you're a meditation master looking for new crystal inspiration, or you're a newcomer to the art of meditation and mindfulness, incorporating crystals into your self care will do wonders for your mental healthy and physical relaxation.